27.11.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Seven new inscriptions on the Intangible Heritage Representative List

© 2006 Sergio Bartelsman, ACAIPI, Fundación Gaia Amazonas - Traditional knowledge of the jaguar shamans of Yuruparí (Colombia)

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage meeting in Bali (Indonesia) until 29 November, inscribed elements from Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France and Peru on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its morning session today. This brings to nine the number of new elements inscribed on the Representative List this year so far.

Traditional knowledge of the jaguar shamans of Yuruparí (Colombia)

The jaguar shamans of Yuruparí are the common heritage of the many ethnic groups living along the Pirá Paraná River in southeastern Colombia. Using traditional knowledge and ritual practices, the shamans heal, prevent sickness and revitalize nature. During the Hee Biki ritual, male children learn the traditional guidelines for these practices as a part of their passage into adulthood. It is believed that shamans inherited their traditional knowledge from the all-powerful, mythical Yuruparí, an anaconda who lived as a human and is embodied in sacred trumpets.


Bećarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia (Croatia)

Bećarac music is popular throughout eastern Croatia and deeply rooted in the cultures of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem. Lead singers interchange vocal lines while creating, emulating and combining decasyllabic verses and shaping the melody, all the while accompanied by a group of singers and tambura band. Lead singers shape performances according to the context, often expressing thoughts and feelings otherwise inappropriate. Performances in informal situations or in contemporary festive events and celebrations last as long as the singers’ creativity and energy permits.


Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland (Croatia)

Nijemo Kolo is a Dalmatian closed circle dance performed by communities in southern Croatia exclusively without music, although vocal or instrumental performances may precede or follow it. Male dancers lead female partners in energetic, spontaneous steps, seemingly without defined rules, that publicly test the female’s skills. Today, Nijemo Kolo is mostly danced by village performing groups at local shows, carnivals and churches on saint days or at regional and international festivals. It is transmitted from generation to generation, although increasingly this occurs through cultural clubs.


Tsiattista poetic duelling (Cyprus)

Tsiattista is a lively, impromptu oral poetry performed in Greek Cypriot dialect whereby one poet-singer attempts to outdo another with clever verses of rhyming couplets often performed to the accompaniment of the violin or lute. Poets have a ready wit, rich vocabulary and active imagination and are able to respond to an opponent by improvising new couplets on specific themes within very strict time constraints. It has traditionally been performed by men at weddings, fairs and other public celebrations but recently women have begun performing.


Ride of the Kings in the south-east of the Czech Republic

The Ride of the Kings is an annual procession associated with the Christian feast of Pentecost in four small towns in south-eastern Czech Republic. An entourage of chanters, pageboys, the King and his royal cavalcade parade through town dressed in traditional costumes and riding decorated horses, stopping along the way to chant rhymes that comment humorously on the character and conduct of spectators who in turn give monetary gifts for a good performance. The specific practices and responsibilities of the event are transmitted from generation to generation.


Equitation in the French tradition (France)

Equitation in the French tradition is a school of horseback riding that emphasizes harmonious relations between humans and horses. Practised throughout France and elsewhere, its most widely known community is the Cadre Noir of Saumur, based at the National School of Equitation. Here horsemen learn to combine human demands with respect for the horse’s body and mood. Riders desire to establish close relations with the horse and work towards achieving ‘lightness’. There is strong cooperation between generations and respect for the experience of older riders.


Pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i (Peru)

The Pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i begins 58 days after Easter when people representing eight indigenous villages from around Cusco, Peru travel to the Sinakara sanctuary. This religious event plays itself out over 24 hours as people process up and down the mountain ending in the village of Tayancani at sunrise. Dances play a central role in the pilgrimage. The Council of Pilgrim Nations and the Brotherhood of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i oversee activities and maintain the rules and codes of behaviour.


The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2003 and now includes 139 States Parties. Only those countries that have ratified the Convention are eligible to present elements for inscription on the Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage comprises 24 UNESCO Member States, elected for a term of four years. Half the Committee is renewed every two years.



                         See the Intangible Heritage photo gallery

The entire session of the Committee is webcast here.

Information regarding all the nominations and experts’ recommendations can also be found on that website.

Follow the session via Twitter and Facebook.

TV broadcasters can download footage here.


Media Contacts:

In Bali :

Rasul Samadov

r.samadov(at)unesco.org; +62 812 46 57 89 47

Pierre Beaulne



In Paris :

Isabelle Le Fournis

i.le-fournis(at)unesco.org; +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 48

Broadcast media:

Carole Darmouni

c.darmouni@unesco.org; +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 38


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